Effect of Supplemental Fresh Forage Feeding on Egg Production, Egg Characteristics, Blood Profile, and Organoleptic Attribute of Pearl Guinea Fowls
Keywords:Boerhavia, Fresh Forage Feeding, Guinea Fowl, Moringa, Talinum
Investigation on the impact of supplemental fresh forage feeding, including Moringa oleifera (MO), Talinum triangulare (TT), Boerhavia diffusa (BD), and a combination of TT and BD in a 1:1 ratio, was conducted using pearl Guinea fowls. Sixty Guinea hens and 15 males were completely randomised into 5 treatments and 3 replicates. Each replicate with 4 hens and 1 cock received different forage treatments including zero-forage inclusion (control), MO, TT, BD, and TT+BD. Egg production, haematology, biochemical profile, carcass characteristics, and organoleptic attributes were assessed. Data collected were analyzed with the General Linear Model procedure of the Statistical Analysis System (version 7). The dietary treatments significantly influenced the consumption of the basal diet, forage, and water intake. However, there was no substantial impact on hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and shell thickness. Birds supplemented with BD showed higher final body weight and weight gain. Eggs from forage-supplemented birds exhibited richer yolk colour, increased fertility, and marginally lesser hatchability compared to the control group. Haematological and biochemical characteristics remained relatively unaffected, except for a few parameters. Organoleptic attributes, except for meat tenderness, were not significantly (P ˃ 0.05) different among the treatments. Tenderness was notably higher in birds supplemented with TT+BD. In conclusion, supplementing Guinea fowl diets with selected forages, particularly BD and TT+BD, had several positive effects. It improved body weight, egg production, yolk colour, and meat tenderness without detrimental consequences. These findings suggest that these fresh forages can be beneficial for enhancing intensive Guinea fowl production.
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